Justin’s Point of View:
Opening the screen door that led inside the cabin, I walked in after turning on the car. The second I got off the phone with Bruce, I knew something bad had happened and despite my countless tries of convincing Bruce to let me stay the night with Kelsey and just come tomorrow, he wouldn’t have it because according to him, I would “want to see this”, whatever that meant.
“Kels—” Looking over at her, I cut myself short upon noticing how upset she seemed. She was currently leaning over, grabbing her shirts and folding them before stuffing them into her bag with a look of disappointment tinted on her face.
Licking my lips, I maneuvered my way over to her before wrapping my arms around her waist. “Don’t be mad,” I murmured comfortingly.
“I’m not.” She crudely replied, avoiding my eyes as she continued slamming fistfuls of her things into her bag, ignoring my existence.
Running my hand through my hair, I vigorously scratched the back of my head. She was so frustratingly quiet and reserved at times, it drove me crazy. I hated knowing she was angry with me and instead of coming right out and telling me when I asked, she declined.
Overlapping her hands with my own, I heavily sighed. “You are.” I urged, turning her around to face me as I looked down into her eyes. “Tell me what’s wrong.” I whispered, trying to remain calm enough to discuss this without losing my temper.
I hated when she kept things from me and she knew that.
Opening her mouth as though she was going to say something, I frowned once she pressed her lips together, refusing to speak her thoughts.
Giving her hands a gentle squeeze to remind her that I was waiting for an answer, she fumbled on her feet, trying to distract her eyes with anything but me at the moment.
“It’s just…” Kelsey sighed, shaking her head. “I don’t understand why we have to head back home. You told me we were going to enjoy a weekendtogether, just the two of us. You said nothing about spending the night and then leaving.” She emphasized the key terms in her sentence, wanting to get across to me that she was displeased as was I.
“Trust me baby, I had this entire weekend planned. I had no intentions on going back home tonight but something happened and Bruce needs me.” Leaning forwards, I pressed a soft kiss to her forehead, hoping to relinquish some of her anxiety. “Come on,” I thumbed behind me, “Let’s head on out.”
Removing her hands from mine, Kelsey zipped up her bag after packing everything inside before taking my outstretched hand once more and following me across the room, around the couch and over to the front door.
Stopping at the entrance to the door, Kelsey took a look back into the cabin, a sincere, saddened look glowing within her brown eyes. Bowing her head, she walked out onto the front porch, waiting as I locked the door before jogging down the steps with me by her side.
Opening the passenger side, Kelsey slid in, waiting for me as I got around to the driver’s side after putting her bags away in the trunk. Revving up the engine, I held the back headrest of Kelsey’s chair as I began pulling out of the driveway and onto the street where I then switched gears to drive and began cruising down the road.
Looking into the rearview mirror, I checked to see if anyone was behind me before sliding into the nearest exit and twirling down its path before landing on the highway. Glancing over at Kelsey, I inwardly groaned upon seeing her stilled nature. “Hey,” Grabbing her fingers in my hand, I placed a gentle kiss to her knuckles. “Don’t be upset with me, okay?” I muttered, desperate to keep the carefree, fun side of her alive.
“I’m not upset Justin,” Kelsey sighed, her eyes hooded with anguish. “I’m annoyed. I’m annoyed at the fact that we can’t have one single weekend together without somebody ruining it for us. It’s gone beyond the point of irritating to just plain exhausting.” Swallowing, she gazed down at her free hand, her thumb scratching against her palm.
“I know baby,” I murmured, my heart swelling at the look of disappointment in her face. “I told you this wasn’t going to be easy but you just have to hang in there, alright? I promise once I find out whatever the hell it is that Bruce called me for, I’m going to take you away from it all and this time, there will be no interruptions.”
“There shouldn’t have been one at all,” Kelsey grumbled, fidgeting in her seat as realization dawned to what she had said. Widening her eyes, she looked over at me, my body stiff. “I’m sorry,” She shook her head, “I—” Sighing; she blinked once… twice before frowning. “I know it’s not your fault. You didn’t know he was going to call. It’s just; sometimes I wish we could get away from it all. You know?” She gazed at me, perplexed, her lips parted in anticipation to my thoughts but no words were formed. I just continued looking onto the road, driving within the speed limit. Upon noticing that I wasn’t going to speak, she bit her lip. “You just got back from…” She drifted off, not wanting to bring up that specific topic, “and call me selfish but I want you all to myself. I lived without you for three years; I don’t think I can handle another second without you.”
Coming to a red light, I fully turned my intention over to Kelsey with every indication on making sure she understood where I was coming from. “You of all people should know that my life comes with as many twists and turns that it does on a rollercoaster, Kelsey. I can’t just shut it off and pretend that my life isn’t one big bag of shit.” Cradling the top of the steering wheel with my hands, I inhaled a deep breath. “I can’t pretend that we’re just like any normal couple in the world because we’re not but I’m trying my best to give you the happy ever after you’re looking for.”
“You are.” Kelsey whispered, “You’re my happy ever after. As long as I have you, nothing else matters to me. I know the second I agreed to be your girlfriend that it would be anything but easy, Justin. Sometimes, though… it can get a bit overwhelming. I mean, we couldn’t even enjoy at least one full night together without something getting in the way.”
Grumbling, I groaned to myself. “I’m going to kill Bruce when we get home.” Looking over at her, I leaned over, draping my fingers lazily across her cheek, tipping her chin up a bit as I crossed and gave her lips a kiss. “I’m sorry.” I whispered.
“Don’t be,” She limply shrugged, a small smile forming on her lips though it didn’t necessarily meet her eyes and I knew then that it was forced. “It’s not your fault.”
“It is and once I whoop Bruce’s ass, I’m taking you away from the world and I’m going to treat you to a night of relaxation that might do us both some good.” I smirked, wiggling my eyebrows suggestively earning a roll of her eyes.
“You’re impossible.” She pushed at my chest. “Drive,” She pointed towards the now glowing green traffic light.
“Shit,” Sitting back in my seat, I stepped on the gas petal, letting the car roll smoothly down the lane. I chuckled, shaking my head. “You’re such a distraction,” I eyed her in false annoyance.
Gasping lightly, Kelsey gave me a look of mock surprise. “Me? Why I have no idea what you’re talking about Justin. You were the one who oh so kindly decided to kiss me and ended up distracting yourself.”
“Can’t blame me for that, you’re just too irresistible babe.” I teased, shooting her my infamous smirk, a twinkle of adoration shining within my hazel irises.
“Oh, please,” She waved a hand dismissively, “flattery gets you nowhere Mr. Bieber.”
“I beg to differ, Mrs. Bieber,” I paused, a smile on my face, “Mrs. Bieber… has a nice ring to it.” I nodded in approval, the taste of the words on my tongue like sweet honey. “Don’t you think?” I beamed over at Kelsey who sat, bewildered and dazed.
Biting her lip—something she did quite often that drove me absolutely insane—Kelsey blushed, her face illuminating with warmth. “Shut up,” She mumbled.
“You always get shy when I bring up topics like this.” I stated a matter of factly with a permanent broad grin now on my face.
“Because,” Kelsey enunciated, “who would have known local gangster Justin Bieber would be talking about marriage?” She raised an eyebrow at me, clearly amused.
“I sure as hell didn’t, that’s for sure.” I muttered in all honesty. Before Kelsey came into the picture, girls were a form of object to me. I used them for one thing and one thing only—sex—and it wasn’t the kind I shared with Kelsey. It was rough, hard and careless. I didn’t care. But then I happened to stumble upon a girl at a party who happened to see me kill someone… and the rest is history. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” She beamed, her entire aura changing from gloomy to cheerful all in just a matter of minutes.
I sighed in content, glad she was back to being herself again and not moping around like she had moments before. Taking my right hand off the steering wheel, I brushed her hair back behind her ear. “Don’t ever stop smiling,” I murmured, tracing her jaw with the padding of my thumb.
Turning her head so that my thumb swiped across her bottom lip, she took my hand in hers, her fingers playing with my own. “I could say the same to you.”
“I’m never not smiling when I’m around you,” I grinned, giving her a simple wink earning a heartfelt giggle to erupt from within. Squeezing her hand, I let it fall from her hold and onto her knee where I gave it a gentle tap before gazing out towards the front.
Turning on the lights of the car, I drove into the right lane, following the instructions that were held above us in big green signs. Glancing into the rearview mirror, I squinted; catching sight of a similar car I had seen earlier tonight when we first began driving, slipping into the same lane I was currently in.
My face fell as my stomach twisted in warning, letting me know that something was wrong. “Babe?”
“Do you see that black car, two behind us?” I nervously glanced at her to see her eyebrows furrow in confusion as she craned her neck in order to see what I was talking about. “Yeah? What about it?” She looked at me.
“Have you ever seen it before?” I questioned, trying to keep calm enough not to burst into flames of anger.
“No, I haven’t… why? Is everything okay?” Her forehead wrinkled in waves of worry, her voice laced with distress, noticing my hesitation.
“No, everything’s fine baby, I was just asking.” Looking once more into the mirror, I put my tail lights on again, switching lanes to see the same car move after mine not even a second later.
“Fuck,” I rasped, putting the car into full gear as I informed myself to continue about as normal, not wanting to attract their attention—whoever they were—in knowing I knew what they were doing.
“You might want to hold on tight baby,” I licked my lips, readying myself in what is about to go down.
Alarm etched across her face, “What? Why?” She strapped her seatbelt on, making sure she was okay under its grip before turning her attention back over to me.
“Just do as I say,” I muttered through clenched teeth, trying to get my thoughts together. If this fucker was following me it meant only one thing, I was in heaps of trouble and with Kelsey in the car, there was no way in hell I was going to risk putting her life in danger.
“Okay,” She whispered, not wanting to push my limits but I knew she needed reassuring.
“Don’t panic,” I sighed, giving her a once over, “But we’re being followed.”
“What do you mean we’re being followed?” Kelsey whisper shouted as if the car behind us could hear what she was saying, her mouth now hung open in the shape of an O.
“I don’t know Kelsey. I know just as much as you do right now.” Running a hand through my hair, I let out a deep breath. Something tells me this is all tied into what happened back at home with Bruce.
Speaking of Bruce… I tugged my phone out of the pocket of my jeans before glancing down at the screen, finding his number and immediately calling. Pressing it to my ear, I waited for him to pick up.
“Where are you?” was the first thing spluttered from his mouth the moment he picked up the call.
Ignoring him, I chuckled humorlessly to myself. “Currently being followed on the highway,” I spoke nonchalantly as if it were an everyday kind of thing.
Detecting my sarcasm, Bruce held his breath. “What the fuck do you mean you’re being followed?”
“I mean just that, Bruce. I left the cabin the second you called and ever since we’ve been on the road, this car has been right behind us.” I avoided Kelsey’s eyes on me as she scrutinized my every move, trying to piece together what was going on.
“Are you sure it’s not just a local that happens to be driving in the same direction you are?” Bruce questioned easily.
“If that were the case, why the fuck would he follow behind me every time I move to a different lane? He’s got three other lanes to choose from Bruce why would he choose the one I’m attending?”
“Fuck,” Bruce rasped and I could picture him rubbing the palm of his hand against the side of his face in frustration.
“Fuck is right,” I snapped.
“You need to keep your head clear. I know how you are and I know you’re fuming right now—”
“Damn right, I’m fuming Bruce! I’ve got my girl in the car for god sake.” I muttered in distress. “If I were alone, it’d be a different story but now I’ve got to worry about making sure I don’t get us both killed.”
“Follow my instructions and you won’t.”
“What the fuck do you suggest I do? I can’t fucking exceed the speed limit, I’ll get pulled over and the last thing I need is to deal with the cops and give them another reason to lock me up.”
“Fuck the police right now, if you are being followed, chances are the fucker’s armed and I don’t think you decided on bringing your gun, did you?”
Touching my back pockets, I strung together a series of curse words. “No.”
“Of course you didn’t,” Bruce stated a matter of factly, “now listen to me.”
“What?” I hissed.
“Change lanes and speed up a bit, don’t make it obvious but go enough that it looks like you’re just trying to cruise the highway.”
Pressing down on the gas petal, I watched as the meter went from 55 mph to 65 before slipping into the lane to my right. “Alright, I did it.”
“Good, now see if he’s trying to match your level of speed and if he is, change lanes again.”
“He’s matching my speed alright,” I muttered. Turning to Kelsey, I gave her a sincere gaze, “keep hold on the seat baby, I’m going to go faster.”
Nodding, Kelsey said nothing as her fingers gripped under the leather seat she sat on, all color form her face draining as I stepped onto the gas once more, going up to 75 mph and slipping into the last lane of the section.
“He’s fucking tailing me Bruce, I’m going to floor it and if I don’t lose him I’ll take the nearest exit and work my way from there.”
“Be careful man,”
“I will.” Hanging up, I threw my phone to the back before accelerating the speed. I watched as the meter shook from 75 all the way to 100 mph and before I knew it, I was zooming past each and every car, swerving in all different lanes.
“Kelsey, I need you to do me a favor baby, okay?”
Swallowing down the lump in her throat, Kelsey fumbled with her fingers before glancing over at me, her lips pulled into her mouth. “What do you need me to do?”
“I want you to watch the car that I told you about and tell me when he’s getting near, alright?”
Nodding, Kelsey turned in her seat to face the back, her eyes urgently watching the car. “He’s coming closer Justin.”
“Very close, he just cut across two cars and is now trying to slide in behind us.” I could sense the disbelief in her voice as she looked outside with panic.
“Shit,” Swerving the car off exit ten, I pressed down on the gas, moving up to 110 mph as I zipped down and onto the lower level of another part of the area. “Is he behind us?”
Moving up to 125 mph, I cut off the road and began driving down a random street, turning to my left before moving to the right. “What about now?”
“He’s catching up.” Kelsey nearly sat up on her knees, her hands held onto the headrest.
Driving onto the road that led to the highway, I zoomed past three cars, zigzagging between two lanes as I pressed even further down on the petal, going as fast as the car could take me. Descending to the last lane, I took the next exit that was in sight and drove down it before landing on a part of Stratford I have been to before.
Taking all the necessary routes and shortcuts I’ve grown accustomed to compelling, I drove down the familiar street that directed me to the part of Stratford where my parents lived.
“We lost him.” Kelsey breathed out, her chest moving up and down in a way that I knew she had been holding it in for what seemed like hours, some color coming back to her cheeks.
Letting go of the gas so that my car went back to its regular limit, I settled back in my seat, allowing my own breathing to retrieve itself.
“Are you okay?” I whispered, slicing through the silence that overcame us.
“Yeah, are you?”
Nodding, I leaned my arm back to grab my phone from the seat I threw it on before quickly redialing Bruce’s number. Once he picked up, I didn’t even give him a chance to say anything. “We lost him.”
“Are you sure?”
Checking my rearview mirror, I was relieved to say that I was. “Yeah, it took some time but I eventually came to a part of Stratford that I knew and it was easier to drop him.”
A hush fell between us.
“This is just the beginning, you know.” Bruce openly stated, cutting through the bullshit and getting right to the point.
“I know.” I muttered and suddenly realization dawned on me to what was going on. “I’ll see you soon.” Hanging up, I clutched it into my hand, clenching my teeth together as I relinquished on what just happened.
Kelsey’s Point of View:
If you asked me to tell you what happened, I’d have no idea how to because truthfully? I didn’t even know myself.
One second we were smiling, laughing and having a good time. The next, we were serious, upset and jumpy. It was a complete one eighty and it gave me serious whiplash.
Something deep inside the pit of my stomach told me that Justin knew what was going on, he just refused to tell me and that hurt more than nearly coming close to dying.
Whoever he was, whoever was in that car driving was obviously after Justin and if they were after Justin that only meant one thing…
He was still associated in the business.
Disappointment coursed through me as I stared down at my feet, tears threatening to fall as they pinched the corners of my eyes.
I hated being lied to especially by the guy who swore on everything that he loved me and would never do such a thing again.
It’s funny how quick he was to go back on his word.
Shaking my head to rid of the thoughts, I painfully looked outside, watching as the trees and other cars faded past, blurring with each passing second.
“We’re here.” Justin’s hard tone sliced through me and I immediately knew that something was wrong and it had nothing to do with what happened a few short moments ago. Snapping my head over to look at him, I noticed his jaw restrained tight, a look of darkness smearing over his eyes. My stomach fell. “Justin, what’s wrong?”
“Get out of the car and go in the house, Kelsey.” All traces of happiness erased, replacing itself instead with raging fury.
“Justin…” Trailing off, I stared off ahead of me, desperate to find what it is that captured his attention and angered him so. My mouth fell open as a swooping of uneasiness tossed about in my abdominal.
Capitalized and burned into the front lawn of the house was the word: SNIPERS, specks of fire still evident from the aftermath of what occurred around it.
No, no, no, no, no. I couldn’t help the bile that rose in my throat as I looked over at Justin. “Please don’t tell me…” Shaking my head, I bit down on my tongue not being able to finish what I had begun to ask.
He promised my inner voice called out to me, reminding me of the things he reassured back when he was released.
“Get in the house Kelsey, now,” Justin sharply spat and I knew that he was being serious. Opening the car door, I reluctantly stepped out, the ashes from the fire that produced the letters on the ground haunting me.
Another car door slammed shut making me jump and whirl around to see Justin had gotten out of the car as well. Turning, I kept walking, expecting Justin to be behind me but instead of following me up the pathway and to the door, he walked over to the crisped lawn, his face contorted with no emotions.
Pinching my eyes shut, I took in a deep breath, holding it as I clasped the knob of the front door, tearing it open. Despite what I wanted, I followed Justin’s instructions and walked inside.
The guys immediately stood up from their seats on the couch, their eyes falling on my slumped figure.
“Kelsey,” John breathed out, his eyes searching mine for answers but I merely bowed my head. “Are you okay?” He questioned despite knowing the answer.
“What happened?” I whispered, ignoring John and directing my own question towards all of them. Guilt spread across Bruce’s face making my knees bolt beneath me, nearly causing me to fall.
Catching me in his arms, John held me at arm’s length. “You’ve had a long night, why don’t you go on upstairs?”
Firmly holding John by his shoulders, I vigorously swayed my head from side to side. “No.” I hissed, “I want to know what’s going on and I want to knownow.” Letting him go, I held my own as I stared up into his eyes. “What the hell are the Snipers and why the fuck is it written on the front lawn of your house?”
Bruce confirmed my theory as he cut across John and answered for him. “It’s nothing. Just go upstairs; we have to discuss a few things with Justin.”
“Where’s Carly?” I asked John.
A sympathetic smile curved on his lips. “She went home for the night, she wanted to stay but I sent her away. She’s worried about you; maybe you should call her and tell her you’ve arrived safely.”
Giving a knowing nod, I swallowed. “I think I will. Goodnight guys.” Keeping my head down, I maneuvered my way past them and up the stairs, into Justin’s room.
Once I was safe in the circumference of his bedroom, I pressed my back against the door. Sliding down until my butt hit the floor. Hugging my knees tight to my chest, I laid my forehead on top and within seconds, a strangled sob emerged.
Everything came hitting me like a ton of bricks. Justin coming back, the lies, the promises, Tanner, secrets, the cabin, the car chase and now this… it was too much to bear and I found myself gasping for air trying to let it all sink in.
This is what comes with the package, the voice in the back of my head spat nastily; did you honestly think he’d keep his promise to you? He’s a criminal for a reason Kelsey, lying comes easy to him.
Shaking my head to rid of the thoughts, I refused to let myself believe anything until I’ve heard the truth come from Justin’s mouth.
Pushing myself to stand up, I searched my pockets for the one thing that was close enough to keeping me sane. Sliding my phone out, I dialed a familiar number, waiting for them to pick up.
“Carly,” I sighed, falling back against the bed, placing an arm over my eyes.
“Kelsey, oh my God, thank God you’re okay. I wanted to stay and make sure I saw for myself when you came but freaking John wouldn’t let me and urged me to go home or else he would have taken me himself.” She exasperated all in one breath, irritation obvious in her tone and I could imagine her rolling her eyes.
I giggled despite the situation at hand, “I know, I asked where you were and he told me you went back to the apartment…”
“Yeah…” She trailed off, a silence coming over us. “Are you okay?” She whispered after several seconds. “I don’t know what happened but Bruce called Justin and asked him to come home. I saw the front lawn…”
“Justin won’t tell me anything Carly.” I sniffled, picking at the ends of my shirt. “I know just as much as you do and to top it all off, we were being followed on our way here.”
“What do you mean?”
“Everything was fine; Justin was driving, we were talking, when all of a sudden he noticed a car tagging along after us. He tested to see if what he was assuming was true and before I knew it, it turned into a scene from the movie Fast and Furious,” I grumbled, settling my free hand flat on my stomach. “I thought I was going to die.” I murmured.
Carly scoffed, “You and me both know that Justin would never let that happen,” She paused, “he’d risk his own life in order to protect yours.”
“I know that,” Licking my lips, I pursed them in thought. “It’s just…” Exhaling a long breath of air, I shrugged even though Carly couldn’t see me. “I don’t know.”
“Kelsey,” Carly sighed, “what’s really wrong? What’s going on? Do you want me to come over?”
“No, I don’t want to get you into any trouble…”
“You won’t, I’ll be quick. I just want to see you in person and make sure for myself that you’re okay. You clearly need some girl time and I am more than willing to do just that for you.”
A crack of a smile pulled at the corners of my mouth, “Thanks Carly.”
“Anything for my bestfriend, now when should I come?”
“Don’t, they seem a bit on edge but I’d love it if you came over tomorrow and we could spend the day talking and watching movies?” I inquired hopefully, praying that she’s free tomorrow.
“You got it girl. I’ll be there two in the afternoon sharp. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, tell me what sup? Apart from the obvious, what’s eating you inside?”
“I just feel… lost,” I sighed, “Like I don’t even know him anymore.”
“Yeah… it’s like he’s holding back from me… like he’s hiding something.”
“I’m sure you’re just thinking too much into it Kels. As much as I don’t like him, he’s got enough on his plate. What happened tonight… it’s the start of something big, I know it and by the way everyone acted when it occurred… it’s not something to take lightly.”
“Is he still doing business with the guys Carly? Is that what this is all about?” I squeaked, the thoughts that have been lingering me voicing itself out loud.
“What the fuck happened?” Justin’s voice boomed throughout the whole house, startling me as I dropped my phone to the floor.
“Shit,” Standing, I crouched down, grabbing my phone. I inwardly groaned once I saw that the call got disconnected.
When I was about to re-dial her number, I thought against it, keeping my ears perked to Justin’s loud shouting.
“What the fuck do you mean you don’t know? You called me at the brink of my time with my girl, interrupted us for what? For you to tell me you don’t fucking know what’s going on?” Justin barked and I could just picture his face—he was furious.
Tip-toeing to the door, I opened it, sticking my head out to see if any one of them heard me doing so. When I was reassured they didn’t, I walked over to the top of the stairs, leaning close to the edge as I listened in on their conversation, desperate to find out what’s going on.
“We weren’t home when they fucking wrecked the house, Justin.” Bruce growled, holding his ground. “We were out in town and came back to see flames up in the air, burning their name into the grass so don’t go fucking pointing fingers when you don’t know shit.”
Justin slid the top of his tongue across his upper lip, his hands on his hips. “The car was one of theirs wasn’t it?”
“The one that followed me when I was driving home,” Justin’s eyes fell on Bruce’s.
“Right about now, our guess is just as good as yours.” John grumbled with a lazy shrug of his shoulders, “but if they were tied into the car chase, that means they must have been there the entire time.”
“Which would mean they were watching you way before you left to the cabin,” Marco piped in, sadness hanging on his every word.
My face fell as recognition fluttered over us.
“They were keeping tabs on me ever since we met them at Luke’s warehouse.” Justin whispered as he pieced the things together.
I held my breath at the mention of Luke’s name, the memories of all the things he put us through flashing through my mind like thunder.
“God damn it,” Justin roared, punching the air in aggravation as he slapped his hands down to his thighs. “How come I didn’t see this before?”
“None of us did. They must have planned this way before any of us even knew they existed.” Marcus countered.
“If those fuckers were watching me, that would mean they were there near the cabin, right?” Justin asked and I could sense the hesitation behind his words.
Where was he going with this?
Listening in closer, I sat on the top stair, praying they wouldn’t catch a glimpse of me.
“If he was right behind you the entire time then yes, he was watching the cabin.” Bruce answered shortly.
“Fucking hell,” Justin pulled at the ends of his hair, “He saw everything? He…” Shaking his head, Justin grabbed the nearest thing to him, which happened to be a glass cup and threw it to the other side of the room watching as it shattered into a million pieces. “I dealt with this shit once; I’m not doing it again.”
Suddenly thoughts of that fateful night three years ago came to mind.
“What do you mean?” Justin fumbled with his words.
“I woke up to something stroking my cheek but when I looked around, no one was there. I thought maybe you had gone to the bathroom but after five minutes, I realized you left and I was all alone.”
Squeezing my eyes shut, I mentally wished them away, wanting nothing more than for the past to stay hidden.
"You didn't even tell me that Luke was watching me…" I paused, squeezing my eyes shut.
“No…” I whispered, willing myself to give it up but the memories continued to haunt me.
My eyes flew open at the sound of another crash. Bending to see that Bruce had threw the remote on the floor just beside the front door.
“I told you to keep your mouth shut that night. I knew something like this would happen if you went against my word.” Exasperated, Bruce numbly rubbed the back of his head. “I didn’t want it to go down this way. Now everyone’s being mixed into this!”
“You’re honestly naïve enough to believe that Landon wouldn’t have come after us and the people we care about? This is the sick shit that comes along with the crap we do!” Justin threw his arms in the air, giving Bruce a wild look as if he’s lost his mind.
“No but we could have avoided a confrontation like this. You pushed them to their limit and now they’re going to do everything in their power to take us down.”
“If they want to play games, I’m all up for it.” Justin seethed through a sharp breath, his eyes raging, “This is all about talk for them. They bring us down; they’re seen as something of the higher position.” Laughing with no humor sensed behind it, Justin shook his head. “If they honestly think they can do it, we’ll just show them why they can’t.”
Bruce furrowed his eyebrows, his lips parted in thought, “What are you going about?”
“We’re going to bring them down, one by one. This was their warning and there’s no way in hell I’m going to wait for them to disrespect us again. They can come after me; I don’t give a fuck but come after me when my girl’s involved? That’s where I draw the line.”
“You can’t just full on hit them with something back. They want us to come after them and if we give them what we want, we’re only asking for an ambush and once was enough to last us a lifetime.”
“I can’t just sit by and wait for them to pull a stunt like this again.” Justin spat angrily, “The last time we waited, it fucked everything up.”
“Tell me this,” Bruce held a hand up, silencing Justin. “What was the first thing that came to mind tonight?”
“The first thing that came to mind? What does that have anything to do with what we’re discussing?”
“Just answer the question,” Bruce pressed tightly, his lips pulled in a firm line. “What or who came to mind when you were being followed?”
Justin didn’t hesitate to answer, “To protect Kelsey.” His voice came out in a hushed whisper, a look of strained pain shadowing the depths of his eyes.
“And in order to protect her, you have to play your cards right. They followed you; they know she’s a part of your life now making her a target.”
“If they even think for a split second that they are going to lay a finger on her, they’ve got another thing coming.” Justin shouted, “There’s no way in hell I’m letting what happened with Luke, happen again. That fucking asshole traumatized her enough and she’s not going to go through that shit again.”
“That’s the thing!” Bruce bellowed, mimicking what Justin had done moments before by throwing his own arms up. “You’ll do anything if it means keeping Kelsey safe but you can’t pull a hit on them when they know we’re coming after them. They’ll be waiting for us to strike them with something, they just won’t know when.” Clasping his hands together, Bruce straightened his shoulders. “We’re going to do it my way for once and this time?” He paused, giving Justin a hard look. “We’re going through with it.”
Letting out a low blow of vexation, Justin held his hands up in a gesture of defeat. “Whatever,” He hissed through clenched teeth.
“I’m going to make a few calls and fill you guys in on what’s going to happen. In the meantime, why don’t you go get some rest? It’s been a long day and I’m sure your girl’s waiting for you.”
Softening his gaze at the mention of my name, Justin gulped, nodding his head. “Alright, I’ll see you guys around then.”
Turning, Justin was just about to walk up the stairs when Bruce’s voice rang in our ears once more.
“Yeah?” Turning his head to look at him, his eyebrows knitted as one.
“You know what this means right? What we’re about to do?” Bruce gave Justin a glowing look of uncertainty.
Justin seemed to know but kept silent instead, letting Bruce voice it out loud.
“We’re initiating a war.”
I gasped, pressing a hand quick to cover my mouth as all their heads snapped up in my direction. Quickly scrambling to my feet, I rushed to Justin’s room despite my state of shock as I let the information sink in.
All my fears were confirmed.
Justin was not only still in the business, he was starting something possibly couldn’t finish.
Holding my head in my hands, I pressed my tongue to the proof of my mouth, trying hard to keep myself from bursting into tears. When the door to his room opened, I sniffled, turning to see Justin standing there with wide eyes that screamed fear.
He was scared of my reaction and he has every right to be.
“Kelsey, let me explain—”
“No,” I silenced him, putting a hand up. “You lied to me Justin.”
“I know but it was for your own good—”
“My own good?” I stared over at him incredulously, “Do you hear yourself right now?”
“Just listen to me!” Justin barked, ending my rant as he stared over at me with big hazel eyes burning. “Please.” He dropped his voice down to a whisper. “That’s all I’m asking for—is for you to just listen.”
“By all means,” I waved a hand in his direction, vaguely telling him to continue as I crossed my arms against my chest.
Pulling at his hair, Justin began pacing the floors. “I know this looks bad, okay? I know I shouldn’t have lied but if I would have told you about this it just would have started a bigger problem—something I can’t deal with at the moment. I just got you back; I don’t want to ruin that.”
“Then don’t go through with this.”
“Kelsey,” Justin ran his fingers through his hair, shaking his head at the same time. “Don’t.” He warned.
“You’re unbelievable!” I screeched my foot stomping onto the floor beneath me. “This is for you! You can’t be doing risky things like this and jeopardize your life because of some low life assholes that rein to bring you down!”
“I can’t let them live either,” Justin snarled, his nose flaring. “They came after me tonight while you were there with me showing they have no bounds. They will go after you, to get to me. Do you want that?”
“No, of course I don’t.” I gave him a bewildered expression, shocked he’d even ask a ridiculous question like that.
“Then don’t question my judgment. I know what I’m doing Kelsey, okay? If you just take a moment to let this register in your head, you’ll see that what I’m doing is for the benefit of the both of us.”
“It could potentially get you thrown back into jail…” I whimpered, the tears sliding down my cheeks. “How is that beneficial for us?”
“I won’t let that happen.” He whispered, a glimpse of vulnerability flashing in his eyes. “Nothing will take me away from you again.”
“You can’t control life Justin. You may be able to kill those bastards but there’s no way in hell you could keep yourself from going to prison.”
“If I do it right, I’ll be able to take them all down, keeping you out of harm’s way but in order to do that, I need you to cooperate with me.” Justin took a step towards me resulting in me taking one back.
“Don’t.” I whispered, putting my hands up as a shield.
Pain lit up in his eyes. “Kelsey…”
“You told me you were done with business.” I whispered, sadness laced within each word as I stared down at my hands, refusing to look at him. “And here you are lying to me again. How can you just stand there and justify everything as if it’s all okay? It’s not. I need you in my life, don’t you understand?”
Keeping silent, Justin listened to what I had to say.
“Without you, it’s like everything is falling out of reach and there’s nothing I can do about it.” Wiping my nose with the back of my hand, I looked away from him. “You’re putting your life in danger.”
“My life is always in danger, no matter what I do. What happened tonight is a reason why my life will never be the way you want it to be.” Justin shook his head, a sarcastic smile on his face that didn’t quite meet his eyes. “Don’t you see?” He threw his hands in the air, his face contorted in frustration. "I do some fucked up shit, Kelsey. This lifestyle I chose for myself is anything but amazing. I kill people for a living. I make sure they pay when they cross me and I don't ever look back at what I've done because to me, it was the right thing to do. I know that's fucking messed up but that's just me. I'm messed up, Kelsey. I'm mentally fucked up and there's nothing anybody can do to change that." His eyes were blazing hazel against my saddening brown ones.
I parted my lips, willing myself to say something but nothing managed to come out.
“Everything is broken...” He muttered darkly, his eyes shadowing a storm. A hazed glow came over as he numbly stood there. “Everything I touch, everyone who comes into my life breaks and it’s all because of me…”
“Jazzy, Jason, my parents,” Justin stopped himself as if he were in deep thought. “You,” He finally whispered. “Luke…” He balled his hands into fists, “And now this… everyone’s slowly dying in front of me and it’s my entire fault…”
“What are you talking about Justin? None of that was your fault.” I whispered confused as to why he was bringing them up. “We’ve already discussed this.”
Snapping his head over to me, he glowered with burning hazel eyes, clearly disagreeing with me. “Everything is my fault!” Justin barked and before I had the chance to even realize what was going on, he grabbed the frames perched on his dresser and threw them across the room, nearly hitting me in the process. “Everything is fucked up,” He sneered, throwing another series picture frames causing the glass plates covering each photo to shatter against the floor. “And it’s all because of me!”
“Justin!” I shouted, my head swirling with all kinds of emotions. “Stop it!”
“Broken…” He whimpered and for the first time ever, I watched as Justin stopped what he was doing and sunk to the floor on his knees, tears engulfing his eyes which were on the borderline of falling.
“Justin…” I cupped my mouth, not being able to grasp what was going on in front of me.
He looked lost, scared and helpless; opposite of what I knew him to be. A distant look crossed his face as he stared off into nothing and that’s when I knew deep down inside, something had gone wrong.
“Justin…” I tried again, inching closer to him as I slowly crouched down to his level. “Look at me.”
“Broken…” Justin repeated, his voice an agonized breathless whisper. He sheltered his entire body, slouching forwards, in a confused daze.
“Please, Justin… snap out of it.” I murmured soothingly, my hands shaking as I willed myself to calm down enough to help him.
"You're everything to me, do you know that?" He lowly muttered, his vision blurred as he stared ahead of him.
"I do," I nodded, desperately trying to bring him back to me. "I do know that." I whimpered, crawling over to him before grabbing his head in my hands and forcing him to look me in the eyes.
Shaking his head, I could tell he was fighting back the tears that threatened to fall. "You don't," He whispered.
"I do Justin, I swear I do. Look at me baby," I soothed, caressing his cheeks with my thumbs, desperate to bring him out of this funk and into my life again. "Please look at me."
"Without you, I'm nothing." He mumbled incoherently but I heard him clearly. He leaned into my touch, his eyes closing as he managed to bring his breathing down to a minimum.
A gasp emitted from my parted lips as Justin's arms found their way around my waist, pulling me into him as he nuzzled his nose into my chest. "Don't leave me," He mumbled. "Please."
Running my fingers through his hair, I gently massaged his scalp. "I'm not going anywhere." I whispered, holding him tight and for the first time ever, I was the one reassuring him that everything was going to be okay.
I'm back :)) Sorry it took so long to update
Pls dont hate on me :(